John Tallmadge

Sharing, teaching and storytelling

THEMES: Personal Practice, Education  |  WORKSHOP: Natural History & Society


John Tallmadge

John Tallmadge is a nature writer, consultant, and independent scholar based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Educated at Dartmouth and Yale, he taught English at the University of Utah and Carleton College before joining the Union Institute in 1987 as Associate Dean of the Graduate School, working with adult professionals on individualized Ph.D. programs. He left Union in 2005 to enter private practice as a faculty coach, developmental editor, and visiting author. Dr. Tallmadge has published two nature-based memoirs, Meeting the Tree of Life: a Teacher’s Path (1997) and The Cincinnati Arch: Learning from Nature in the City (2004), and an edited volume of ecocriticism, Reading Under the Sign of Nature (2000). He is an editor for the University of Virginia Press series, “Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism.”




John Tallmadge: What you said earlier about the importance of teaching really ought to be stressed. We don't fully learn from, engage with, benefit from our experiences – the gifts that we've receive from the land – until we put them into stories and share them with other people. I felt this very deeply with respect to wilderness experience. It didn't become real to me, it didn't become good medicine for my spirit, until I really started teaching people. I really believe strongly that part of our practice of natural history has to be sharing, communicating, teaching and storytelling.